Brown and Moneybags break drought
The amazing recuperative powers of the waters of Warrnambool were again on display when Mr Money Bags broke a drought of almost two years and 19 starts at Flemington.
His new trainer Lindsey Smith said after the win that a change was as good as a holiday for a horse and that’s why his recent stable recruit was able to score.
Mr Money Bags hadn’t been successful since he won the same race two years ago.
Smith said Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock manager Darren Dance thought the six-year-old needed a change of scenery to try to regain his best form.
“The owner sent him down to do a bit of training at the beach and a change is as good as a holiday,” Smith said.
“The timing of the race was good. Right track, right distance and down in the ratings.
“The horse came to me in excellent order and all we had to do was change up a couple of little things.”
Smith said he didn’t expect Mr Money Bags to win and thought he would run fourth or fifth.
It was also a return to the winner’s circle in the city for former leading apprentice Ethan Brown, who made the most of his only ride for the day.
The win gave Brown his first metropolitan success of the season and Smith was more than happy to put him on, describing him as “a very under-rated rider”.
“I’ve watched him for a long time, even before I came across to Victoria,” Smith said.
“I put him on when I can. He’s nice to deal with, not at all complicated.”
Brown has been traversing the state riding in the country and said spring was a hard time to get opportunities in town but he hoped more would come his way over summer.
Mr Money Bags ($11) defeated Viral ($9) by 1-1/2 lengths with Bandersnatch ($2.60 fav) three-quarters of a length away third.
Damian Lane completed a winning treble when he rode Somerset Maugham to win the Rogan Josh Handicap (1800 metres) after earlier victories on Miyake and Memphis Rock.